Wait, no…that’s what every other writer says! I started writing just before my eighth birthday, and it wasn’t on my own volition. I was sailing with my family in a 42-foot sailboat across the Pacific, and since there were no local schools (except those pertaining to fish) nearby, my mother homeschooled me. She was a strict taskmaster! A veritable slave driver! She demanded a new story every day.
So I’d sit in the boat’s galley and write. And stare out the porthole, and write some more. And doodle, and write some more. By the time we arrived in Hawaii the following year, I had a portfolio of stories, and I was hooked. Since then I haven’t stopped. (Well, much. I did take breaks now and then, for things like college, young kids, and a master’s degree.)I love to read just as much as I love to write, and actually the reading bug hit me at about the same time my mom was cracking the whip over my head and commanding me to write. What else to occupy your time with when there are no other kids to play with and nothing to do but stare at the endless sea? Some of my most recent favorites: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, River God by Wilbur Smith, and anything by Laura Kinsale and Loretta Chase.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on edits for A TOUCH OF SCANDAL. After I finish those (hopefully in the next couple of weeks), I’m excited to begin work on the third book in the series, Lady Rebecca’s story.
When is your next book coming out?
A TOUCH OF SCANDAL, the sequel to A HINT OF WICKED, will be out in April, 2010.
Do you get emotionally involved with your characters?
Absolutely. You should have seen me wringing my hands about Sophie when I was writing A HINT OF WICKED. It felt like she was my best friend, and she was in trouble and I didn’t know how to help her!
Do you enjoy the promoting side of writing?
I do and I don’t. I love talking to people—engaging in conversations about my book and books in general. But I’ve never been very good at going out into the world and selling myself. And I’m pretty shy in real life, so attention scares me a little!
When doing research do you have any preferred sources - texts, subject matter experts, Internet etc. that work better for you than others or does it depend upon the book?
While I was writing A HINT OF WICKED, I found fantastic answers to many of my research questions on Google Books. There’s nothing quite like a source written in the same time period you’re writing in. I now have an extensive, organized Google Books library filled with books written in the early 19th century about everything from medicine to fashion to travel and architecture and cooking. Along with Google books, I made use of published historical texts on the period (including three books alone on marriage law), Regency & other historical websites, horse experts, and fellow members of the Beau Monde chapter of Romance Writers of America, many of whom are experts on the period.
What genres do you enjoy reading in your spare time?
I’m reading quite a lot of romance now (surprise, surprise!). Some of my other favorite genres are historical fiction, literary fiction, thrillers, and paranormals.
Do you do anything special with the release of a book or have a ritual for the day?
I try to celebrate, at least a little, by going out to eat or just doing a happy dance with my family! I think I’ve been so buried under deadlines for the release of A HINT OF WICKED that I didn’t celebrate as much as I should have!
We read in your FAQ on your website that your husband often brainstorms with you and has come up with some really outrageous stuff. Could you tell us some of his most outrageous ideas, ones that have really stuck with you?
One of his favorite ideas that I haven’t used yet was of a hero and heroine having sex through prison bars (!?!??!). That scene never really came to fruition (hehe—maybe someday!), but the concept of a hero imprisoned and being visited by the heroine is part of A TOUCH OF SCANDAL.
"What is your ideal writing atmosphere?"
Somewhere absolutely quiet and uncluttered. With a comfortable chair (I’ve been writing at the Seattle’s Best Café at Borders a lot lately, and the chairs are wood with no padding. My poor backside…).
Is there one specific genre that you will never write?
I would never say never to any genre. I read just about all of them, and I could actually see myself giving a go at writing anything. Right now, I’m pretty happy with romance, though. Leaving my happy endings behind would be a pretty painful thing for me to do.
Is it hard for you to finish a story after spending so much time writing about the characters?
Definitely. I miss them afterward. That’s why I really enjoy writing sequels—sequels have the benefit of glimpsing into the lives of characters from previous books, and I love that!